MLA Unites EDM Lovers and the Neighborhood at Moonrise Festival

MHA Audio of Hagerstown, MD recently deployed Martin Audio MLA systems across four stages of Moonrise Festival in Baltimore, Maryland to tackle challenges of noise leakage into surrounding neighborhoods, while still maintaining high sound levels demanded by artist riders and the expectant festival crowd.

Moonrise Festival is an annual two-day electronic dance music (EDM) festival held at Pimlico Race Course and has been successfully running since 2014 with an average of 60,000 in attendance per year, putting Baltimore on the EDM map and attracting some of the biggest DJs in the world. However, the popularity of the festival and its genre of music present unique audio challenges given the venue’s close proximity to surrounding neighborhoods.

For the 2017 festival, the event’s organizers were tasked with developing a plan to limit noise nuisance to the residential communities around Pimlico Race Course, while still maintaining the quality that the festival has come to be known for.

The festival operates under three strict sound level criteria: levels at the perimeter must not exceed 85dB (C LAeq); levels in residential areas must conform to the Baltimore city code of 5dB (C LAeq) above ambient noise level; and finally, sound levels must be capable of 105dB (C) inside the venue in order to meet artist rider requirements. In order to monitor sound levels, twelve SPL meters were set up, eight within the concourse and four within key residential zones.

EDM music festivals require the most subsonic frequencies and among the highest sound levels of any live event. In order to provide the proper customer experience inside the venue, while at the same time limiting sound levels outside the venue as much as possible, a new approach to the sound system design and site layout was implemented this year.
Organizers approached Mike Scarfe, owner of MHA Audio, as they were aware of the success of MLA at other festival sites and he was confident of achieving the necessary results: “I was contacted back in May and was sent the site plans, noise restrictions and where the majority of the sound complaints had been generated the year before.

“Based upon my previous experience and discussions with the Martin Audio factory in England, I was confident that system designs primarily combining MLA multi-cellular speaker arrays with an MLX cardioid subwoofer package would meet all the requirements.”

A cardioid subwoofer configuration was deployed with some subtle variation on all four stages. In a typical subwoofer configuration bass frequencies are omnidirectional. No matter where the subwoofers are placed, the lowest sounds will always go towards the concert perimeter as much as they would go towards the audience. In an MLX cardioid subwoofer configuration, multiple subwoofers use careful spacing and digital signal processing to phase cancel frequencies to the sides and behind the speakers, allowing more control. Because of this capability, all four stages were able to be aimed away from the neighborhoods of Mt. Washington and Cylburn for this year’s festival.

Multi-cellular arrays differ from normal line arrays by combining many smaller speaker elements and advanced digital algorithms to provide custom control and even coverage exactly where desired, and virtually eliminate unwanted coverage in sensitive areas.

As Scarfe comments, “MLA is unique. It’s still the only system around that can optimize multiple sonic goals and truly deliver the sound across the audience required for any space, while mitigating sound leakage. Utilizing a multi-cellular array eliminates all but the loudest and lowest frequencies from leaving the concert area.”

Within the Pimlico Race Course, Moonrise festival featured four stages, two main stages – Stellar and Lunar – as well as the 300ft long Solar Dance Tent and Celestial Garden Stage.

The equipment list was extensive: Stellar comprised two main hangs of 12 MLA each side with 36 MLX subwoofers; Lunar stage featured 24 MLA and 24 MLX; 20 MLA Compact and 24 MLX were on Solar; and, finally, 20 W8LC line array elements and 24 WS218X subwoofers on Celestial.

To support the event, MHA called upon fellow MLA network partners, OSA International, Inc., who helped supply and manage the Stellar stage. Jim Risgin, Vice President of OSA, commented, “Martin Audio’s MLA system is the best choice for controlling sound in live events, especially in a situation like Moonrise that needs to decouple the festival from its surroundings. Festivals can lend a positive impact to local economies, but for them to be viable everyone from festival-goers to residents and from the planners to the city and local businesses need to be catered for appropriately and MLA solves the conundrum when dealing with sound leakage.”

The festival weekend itself saw thousands of mostly millennials descend upon the racetrack’s storied infield to watch more than 70 producers, DJs and musicians across the four stages. In its five-year history, 2017 was arguably Moonrise’s strongest line-up yet, with headliners like Kaskade, Afrojack, Zed’s Dead, Excision and Pretty Lights Live with Rap acts including Lil Uzi Vert and Run the Jewels injecting some additional variety.

The success of the event and MLA system design was clear. The effect was a near omnipresent throb of rattle-the-ribcages low-end, peaking well above the required 105dB, with an ecstatic and knowledgeable crowd pulsating to the set lists. Meanwhile, off site limits were met and noise complaints were at an all-time low.

According to Audio Engineer, Matthew Bittman, who provided analysis reports for Baltimore City Council: “The result of the new system design and layout was in total compliance with all sound objectives and restrictions for the 2017 festival. At no time did the perimeter approach the 85dB (C LAeq) limit, nor did any neighborhoods register 5dB (C LAeq) above ambient readings from Friday, prior to the festival’s opening. In addition, most of the complaints from the Mt. Washington and Cylburn neighborhoods were eliminated, and no complaints from Mt. Sinai hospital were received this year.”

Summing up, Bittman said, “These successes can be attributed to the new sound system, SPL monitoring system, and the re-orientation of the stages this year. It’s my clear recommendation that for next year both cardioid subwoofer and multi-cellular array technology should be used in order to remain within legal compliance.”

Photo Gallery

View pictures here.
Photo credit: ©Anthony Washington

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“MLA Unites EDM Lovers and the Neighborhood at Moonrise Festival” by Martin Audio Ltd.

Martin Audio CDD Speaker

OSA Installs Martin Audio in Lagunitas Brewery

OSA International, Inc. recently deployed a Martin Audio CDD speaker system for the Tasting Tour at the Lagunitas Brewery in Chicago’s Douglas Park neighborhood in North Lawndale.

Founded in 1993 in the town of the same name, the Lagunitas Brewery is now located in Petaluma, Azusa, Seattle and Charleston, in addition to Chicago. The company is now one of the leading craft breweries in the country, and is known for its unique interpretations of traditional beer styles with humorous descriptions and stories on its packaging.

The Chicago brewery tour is a popular attraction in the city and OSA was recently called in to replace the original sound system for the walking tour. According to project manager Brandon Gardner, “the guided tour is on a catwalk––there are several levels to the facility, with the brewery and bottling plant on the ground floor and the catwalk above. The tour has four zones where the tour guide stops and explains the process for brewing, fermenting, bottling and canning the beer.

“Originally,” Brandon continues, “the system consisted of powered speakers that tended to clip, which caused complaints from visitors not being able to hear what the tour guide was saying, especially when groups were more than 100 people.

“So, a major concern was getting clarity from the front where the tour guide stands all the way to the back of the crowd. Plus, we had to control the sound going off the catwalk so that the tour would not disturb the people working below in the brewery and bottling facilities.”

To upgrade the system, Brandon opted for Martin Audio CDD10 10″ compact coaxial, differential dispersion speakers, one in each zone with two in the bottling and canning area to compensate for the additional noise coming from the floor. The speakers were mounted horizontally with the drivers rotated to achieve optimum coverage in that zone as well. A BSS digital controller was added at each zone so tour guides could adjust the volume locally.

Asked about his choice, Brandon responds, “The CDD speakers offer exceptional clarity especially in the high frequency range because of the coaxial drivers and differential dispersion technology. Plus, they offer the most consistent performance I’ve heard. That, and the form factor is well suited to a variety of mounting solutions.

“Our client is very happy with the CDD’s performance––he is excited about the speakers. Everyone on the tour can now hear clearly and there have been no noise complaints from below the catwalk. It’s win-win for everyone.”

For more information about OSA International, please click to www.OSAcorp.com.

For more information about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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“OSA Installs Martin Audio in Lagunitas Brewery” by Martin Audio Ltd.

OSA Relies On Martin Audio Solution For Successive Navy Pier Events

OSA International recently had to produce back-to-back events for two clients who used Chicago’s venerable Navy Pier in very different ways. Fortunately, they had a Martin Audio MLA system to help them overcome a number of challenges.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Designight 2016 had the venue for one night while the Gateway for Cancer Research Cures Gala 2016 was set for the following evening. Both of the events were completely different technically, and had to be strategically designed to provide both clients exactly what they were looking for.

As an architectural organization, AIA preferred to show less of the technical production elements and highlight the natural historic beauty of the venue. In contrast, the Cures Gala event required extensive lighting and projection trusses, including a flying stage over the audience area. With the tight schedule between events and limitations of the facility, all equipment had to be installed, tested, and stay throughout both events, which meant OSA had to make the equipment as inconspicuous as possible.

Michael Ravenhill and The Mandell Entertainment Group were Executive Producers for the 25th annual Gateway for Cancer Research 2016 Cures Gala with OSA as the Technical Producer and David Foster & Friends as entertainment including Peter Cetera, CeeLo Green, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sinbad, Michael Bolton and The Tenors.

With six semis and two 26-foot box trucks of audio, video, lighting and band gear, space was at a premium for the event. The ground level and audience space was packed with guest tables that only allowed enough room for audio consoles on the floor, while video, lighting, audio control and dimmer racks were on the balcony level with limited access.

The Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier is known as a challenging audio environment because of parabolic effects added by the domed ceiling, its reflective open steel structure, a polished cement floor and glass sides. A traditional bandshell that makes up the upstage wall multiplies the acoustical challenge as volume is added.

To overcome these issues, OSA removed the house audio and replaced it with 10 Martin Audio MLA cabinets a side, using the system’s pattern control to minimize the reflections and increase direct frequency response to the audience seating area, along with 12 specially tuned MLX subs for a balanced low-end response. Plexiglass was used wherever possible to shield direct sources such as drums while guitar amps were isolated into back rooms. The audio system also included two Studer Vista 5SR consoles for the band and a Soundcraft Vi1 for the business portion and videos.

The OSA crew for the event included Carmen Educate (Sound Designer and Entertainment Mixer) Michael Solomon (Production Manager), Joseph Burger and Tom Georgitsis (Technical Directors), Peter Wiejaczka (Production Mixer), Peter Brennan (Entertainment Monitor Engineer), Paul Educate (Communications and RF Technician), Orlando Calzada and Adam Rosenthal (System Technicians).

Asked about mixing FOH for the event, Carmen Educate says, “The David Foster & Friends show went into the Navy Pier Rotunda, and the acoustics in this venue are quite challenging to overcome. Because of this, it was critical to get the stage volume down to a minimum, which included minimizing the SPL from stage monitors, musical instruments, and amplifiers reflecting off of the bandshell.

“The mix experience is always stellar with the MLA system, and most importantly, our show is consistent sounding from arenas and large theaters, to exhibition halls, that are sometimes not ideal for sound clarity. It definitely drives like a super car, because you can feel every move you make at any speed, with precision. With MLA, I can achieve a better quality sound with less SPL and ear fatigue for the audience. My mix translates perfectly if I am running my show at 92dB or 105dB to accommodate for a certain audience or artist lineup.”

Summing up, Carmen concludes, “Mixing on the MLA system is always a distinct pleasure. It’s by far the most advanced and efficient PA being used in the live sound market today, when properly calculated and deployed. MLA has always impressed me with its final results, and consistently helps bring the audience into a great sounding studio environment that our artists and clients have come to expect.”

Photo credit: ©Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design

For more information about OSA International, please click to www.OSAcorp.com.

For more information about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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“OSA Relies On Martin Audio Solution For Successive Navy Pier Events” by Martin Audio Ltd.

Steely Dan

Steely Dan and Steve Winwood Tour with MLA

OSA International, Inc. of Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville is again supporting Steely Dan on "The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour" featuring special guest Steve Winwood with a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system.

The tour encompasses a variety of venues from amphitheaters to arenas which, given two iconic artists with different musical signatures and Steely Dan’s reputation for superior audio, places extra pressure on the OSA crew of Kevin Gillson (system engineer) and Werner Gerbracht (stage and PA tech) to excel in every kind of situation, no matter what challenges the weather including hail stones that caused audience evacuations at Red Rocks%emsp;and the acoustics of each venue hold in store.

In addition to those pressures, Kevin, the man who implements Steely Dan FOH Engineer Mark Dowdle’s vision for each show, is working with MLA for the first time with only certified training and limited exposure to the system and software. Even with these challenges, the crew has exceeded the expectations of both engineers and delivered exceptional and repeatable results for every show.

"I’ve worked with another system for many years," Kevin explains, "but was really impressed that even with the large amount of information that goes into the MLA box, the software is straightforward and easy to grasp quickly, which was a big key for this because I had to jump right out and start using it. Using this system from design to deployment has been a real eye opener on how well it can deliver the artist’s mix to the audience as well as take the problems of the room out of the equation."

In terms of a typical setup, the main configuration for sheds and arenas consists of 13 MLA and one MLD downfill per side, with nine MLA Compact a side for off hangs and four MLX subs a side either flown behind the MLA or ground-stacked depending on the venue and setup time.

Asked about MLA, Kevin responds,

"Overall, I was very impressed. How, with MLA, you can walk through the horizontal coverage and maintain the stereo image. You don’t have the hard definition between the right and left hang that you have with other systems––it’s seamless from side to side. I also like the Martin Audio crossover points where the vocal range hits a paper cone instead of a horn, which makes it much smoother, more natural and easier to listen to.

"MLA’s control is also helpful,"

adds Kevin.

"I can hard avoid 20 feet upstage from the stage edge, which makes the PA extremely quiet on stage for the artists. I can then control and extend the coverage for the first seats as far back as I need to and again use hard avoid on problem areas like a balcony edge or a shed roof that comes down in back of the pavilion, which has been very helpful in controlling room acoustics.

"With other systems’ subs, I would try to use cardioid setups but still had too much low end behind the cabinets. I have found that the MLX subs are so quiet in a standard configuration that Vern will occasionally ask me if they’re on. I’ve also had sound engineers in the audience who can’t believe we’re only running four subs a side and tell me how amazing they sound. The MLX subs are so musical and their tonality is just phenomenal."

Having succeeded with MLA on this tour after years of using other systems, Kevin has a special perspective at this point:

"There are a lot of PAs out there and they all do things differently. But working with MLA where the approach is phase coherence at the listener instead of at the box really makes sense in so many ways. One benefit with MLA versus other systems is the system’s stability with wind. With other systems, when we get wind off stage coming across the PA, the mix moves with it. With MLA, I can hear the mix and it doesn’t shift in a strong wind. That blew me away.

"Because I had such a short learning curve, I was concerned about having to deploy MLA for a band with Steely Dan’s reputation, but the system has performed phenomenally well for the tour and has been easy to deploy, no matter what type of venue, weather or circumstances."

James Towler, who’s worked with Steve Winwood for 19 years both as his FOH and recording engineer as well as managing Steve’s Wincraft Music Studios in Gloucestershire, is also using MLA for the first time.

According to James, his primary goal when mixing Steve live is "getting vocal presence out of the PA and making sure everyone can hear the Hammond."

"With the MLA, I haven’t had to touch the Graphic EQ on my board because of the way the system’s been performing. It really became apparent when we were in Dallas at the American Airlines Center that it was the best vocal presence I’ve ever gotten in a live situation and I’ve mixed that room a few times. I’m really pleased with the definition I’m getting from the PA."

As it turns out, James uses a different approach for mixing than Mark Dowdle, his counterpart with Steely Dan: "Mark and I have completely opposite setups, but we’re both very similar in terms of our philosophy, which is get the right microphones and mic pres, and you’re well on your way."

Focused on a "high quality front end," James’ setup starts with a DiGiCo S21 console into a Dante networking system that includes Millennia mic pres converted to Dante, Focusrite RedNet interfaces, a PreSonus RM32AI rackmount mixer "for sorting out his monitor feeds," and Shure PS 1000 in-ear monitors on a Digital Audio Livemix personal monitor system.

Commenting on the MLA system, James reports that "Steve is pleased with the way things are sounding. He’s happy because the rejection on the back side of the PA is fantastic so we don’t have to balance Front of House level with what the performer needs on stage.

"I have really enjoyed mixing on the MLA. When it comes up and we get the sweet spots, it sounds like I’m back in the studio. I can get that vocal presence right in my face and be both a live and studio engineer!"

For Steely Dan, highly esteemed veteran FOH engineer Mark Dowdle is again at the helm as Audio Supervisor and Mixer. With a list of credits that includes Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner and Jackson Browne to name a few, Mark has successfully met the challenge of mixing Steely Dan live for numerous tours over the last five years with the last three tours being on MLA with OSA.

When mixing the band, Mark’s goal is "to reproduce their music as accurately as possible, getting as close as I can to the standards they use in their recordings."

By mutual agreement with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, his process is 100% analog. Mark mixes on a Midas XL4 console with 57 channels including stereo modules. As mentioned, he believes "getting the microphones, mic pres and mic placement correct is the first order of business. I choose microphones best suited to the instruments and vocals rather than based on brand."

Mark is wholly responsible for achieving consistent sound from one venue to the next and tuning the system after it’s rigged, a process that requires instinct, judgment and flexibility. As he explains,

"When it comes to Steely Dan, all venues are somewhat challenging because they tend to take away from the concert experience instead of adding to it.

"So you have to take a good look at the situation and figure out ahead of time what will work the best in that scenario in terms of how to do the hang, how many boxes to use, how to aim the PA and tune it to the room. You put the system up and do the best you can to anticipate what the room’s going to do, and hopefully you’ll end up close to where you need to be.

"In terms of this system, MLA is very coherent with a lot of definition and separation. The extended high end has a lot to do with what happens in the middle of the frequency range and how that appears in the mix. I’m usually pretty consistent where I end up from one venue to the next.

"The network and software make it easier to identify setup issues and we’ve really had none to speak of,"

Mark concludes. "Fortunately, the system has been very dependable and steady so I haven’t had a real reason to rely on that. Overall, I’ve enjoyed using MLA. It’s given me everything I’ve needed from start to finish on this tour."

Martin Audio PA by OSA on Steely Dan Tour

The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour

The Dan Who Knew Too Much Tour

Mark Dowdle mixing Steely Dan

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"Steely Dan and Steve Winwood Tour with MLA" by Martin Audio Ltd.

On Location at the Austin Summer X Games with Extreme Sports Sound Designer Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson’s life could be the envy of any extreme sports fan. As the audio designer for ESPN’s X Games for the last 16 years and, for nearly as long, having worked a year-round schedule of Red Bull live sports events, Ed has witnessed every conceivable sport stunt and thrives on providing great live sound to keep audiences hyped, engaged and informed across multiple events and venues.

The annual Summer X Games, with its heart-stopping skateboard, bicycle and motorcycle events, typically spends three years in a location before moving to another part of the country. June 2–5, 2016 was the swansong of the X Games’ Austin, Texas stint and proved to be the trickiest. Bouts of torrential rain, lightening, fierce winds and extreme heat (even for Texas) complicated the games for competitors, attendees and crews alike. But Ed has seen it all and simply takes it in stride.

We recently spoke with Ed about the four-day Austin adrenaline fest to find out how he preps for the games and operates during the events. “Most of my work is done prior to the event,” said Ed. “Maybe a month in advance, I’ve worked out the audio design, the layout of the various event sites and speaker plans, then changing them, as needed, due to budget constraints. Then I hand my paperwork over to On Stage Audio who has an excellent crew. They’ve been doing the show with me for about six years now, and we have a really great relationship.”

By the time Ed arrived in Austin, four days before the first event, his crew had been onsite for three days. “When I walked in, everything was in place up to a certain point. The first thing I always do is look over my documentation and confirm all of the gear and placement. Then our Live Event Producer, Sharon Bauer, Technical Director, Sheri Sternberg and I interface with the TV crew to make sure that our intercom systems are on track and that we’re all onboard with how we’re attacking the various venues, combining resources whenever possible,” he said.

“Next, I moved on to talking to Phil Reynolds [OSA], my lead networking expert, who built what I believe must be one of the largest plans to date. Given all the locations, we had a total of 12 fiber optic cables. The shortest was 1,200 feet and the longest was a mile and a half. All of them needed to work simultaneously between two console positions with video departments, announce packages and everything that goes with them, so that it could all be mixed through one or both consoles or split in half, as needed.”

One of Ed’s key considerations at every show is finding a workable balance between his output and the television microphones. “A major part of my job is to keep the crowd pumped by really capturing the action. But, the show also has to work for the television audience,” said Ed. “What we really have is a show inside of a show. Standing in my work area or sitting in the grandstand, you would hear my commentators, experts in the field, athletes who know all the scripts, and flips and back flips. Even if a contender improvises something, they know what it’s called. Those are the people who sit in my chairs and call our shows to the live event crowd.”

“If you’re watching the games on ESPN, you’ll hear the ambient of my show—the music and possibly ramblings of my announcers. But TV also has its own announcers, and overall, the challenge is always figuring out what TV can and can’t handle.

With up to four inches of rain falling in an hour, the Austin X Games’ most volatile obstacle turned out to be the weather and, for safety’s sake, the competition had to intermittently be put on hold. “We just had to deal with it. We had to figure out, minute by minute, what we could set up and what we couldn’t due to climate constraints. A lot of equipment needed to be repeatedly tarped and untarped because of the rain – and then lightening would move into the area, and we would have to stop and then recover.

“It was pretty dramatic at times, having to pour water out of the JBL VRX932 and then pick up the PRX712s that got blown over by the wind. What can you do? You put them up, see what works and do your best to replace whatever you have to with the extra gear you bring along. Overall, we did very well with maintaining the audio being heard. Everyone was notified of storm warnings and stuff like that. We had a plan, and it worked perfectly. The audience had a great time.”

After all these years with the best seats in the house, we wondered if Ed still feels the exhilaration of the athletic events.

“I’m very passionate about it,” he said. “When I was a kid, I would build little ramps and do jumps on my bicycle—coincidentally, that was in the back of the JBL factory, which was right near where I grew up in Northridge, California. To be an adult and make a living off of something that I did back then has been incredible. I never expected life to go in this direction and always enjoy watching what people bring to the sport—the new inventions and the new craziness that happens. It’s all part of a California lifestyle that I grew up in during the 70s that somehow just bloomed into my being part of this show. I’m very lucky; action sports have been really good to me.”

Along with his live sports work, Ed is also approaching his 18th year of mixing award show and key event sound for the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Many thanks to Ed Johnson for sharing his story. Have you worked at an extreme sports event or in severe weather? Share your story about the technical challenges you faced—and how you overcame them—in the comments.

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“On Location at the Austin Summer X Games with Extreme Sports Sound Designer Ed Johnson” by Marina Muhlfriedel

Broadcast-Quality Graphics at AirFest 2016

The Big Picture: Technology Reshaping Air Shows

OSA International, Inc., in partnership with Reality Check Systems and TrellisWare Technologies, helped to pilot an air show video wall system with broadcast-quality graphics featuring real-time footage, team biographies, aircraft information, social media, sponsor commercials, PSAs and more for the Tampa Bay AirFest at MacDill Air Force Base this past March. Focusing on the rewards and challenges of offering a big screen at an air show, Ric Peterson’s “The Big Picture: Technology Reshaping Air Shows” in Air Shows Magazine is an excellent read on the rewards and challenges of offering a big screen to audiences like that of the Tampa Bay AirFest, as well as reaching fans through smaller screens including mobile devices.

Peterson explains:

“Today’s air show has evolved well beyond pitching a lawn chair and ogling aircraft. Technology is reshaping our industry and, while large screens may be too expensive for most, there is a rapidly growing expectation that we offer them. Most other outdoor events already use at least one big screen along with the creative use of small screens such as smart phones, tablets and wearable devices. Some within our industry have designed apps while other performers and shows are taking advantage of Twitter and YouTube’s live-streaming options. They all have their rewards and challenges.

“I’ll start big.

“Nothing beats the impact of a big screen to create maximum impact, entertain your fans, increase advertising effectiveness, give promotions the extra punch and connect with your crowd..”

Media Solutions [powered by OSA] supplied two large 7.8mm LED walls at 40′ wide x 20′ tall, a 4K broadcast engineering system, LED distribution system, high-def cameras and more for the Tampa Bay AirFest. With RCS providing the graphics, OSA and RCS were able to create a mobile broadcast studio and the largest-scale live production in air show history. This level of scope typically requires a large outside broadcast truck.

Peterson quoted Angel Banchs, Director of Engineering for Media Solutions [powered by OSA] and technical coordinator for the video system at the Tampa Bay AirFest, several times throughout.

Banchs starts with the fan perspective:

“We had a bit of inclement weather on Saturday. The beauty of the system is that we were able to immediately put up a live weather map of the upcoming thunderstorm. We were able to show the audience that they should head to the first aid hangars for their safety. Nothing got the audience’s attention like seeing the coming band of thunderstorms in real time. This was one of the features that the security forces thought brought a tremendous level of safety to the AirFest.

“The system also allowed us to do a two-window style split on the screens. Because we had so many angles on the action, we were able to not only highlight the acts currently performing, but also the performers who were up next, keeping the audience engaged at all times.

“We provided three long lens cameras to get closer to the action. With our longest lens, we could clearly see right down to the edge of runway 22 at MacDill. We were able to keep an eye on the aircraft much further away than audience members. This kept the audiences engaged even when they could not see the aircraft on their own. With multiple angles on the action, we were able to get reactions from the crowd as well as performers when they returned from their performances. We were also able to grab shots of performers signing autographs and engaging with the crowd. Audiences loved the NASCAR style victory laps we were able to film in front of the air boss stand. We were also able to turn the camera on the audience and invite them into the show. We did several audience shots to let them know that they were an important part of the AirFest. Kids and parents loved seeing themselves up on the jumbo screens. Everyone loves to see kids engaged and in awe of the amazing performances happening right in front of them.”

OSA used TrellisWare Technologies, a San-Diego based military radio communications contractor, to assist in attaching the cameras to the flying aircraft and aerial performers. Multiple video feeds from as high as 13,000 feet were sent out over IP to a decoder in the broadcast control room, giving the attendees an intimate view of the action.

Banchs continues:

“TrellisWare Technologies were able to put cameras everywhere we wanted and more. The TrellisWare guys are usually down range helping Navy SEALs and Special Forces guys with their live field communications. They provide communications in critical situations. This is why we thought they would be a perfect fit for the AirFest. Jumbo LED screens were provided by OSA Media Solutions who set up two 40 x 20 foot LED screens to project all of the aforementioned action to our audience members. The screens are all weather and high definition. This allowed us to present our show in the highest quality possible. The screens are modular so they can be built in any size desired. The two screens were set up at either end of the show line to reach as many audience members as possible.”

Peterson continues to discuss both the rewards and challenges of offering both big screens like OSA provided at the Tampa Bay AirFest and little screens like smaller display monitors and apps. Air Shows Magazine is an award-winning publication for ICAS members. For more information, visit www.airshows.aero.

About OSA

OSA International, Inc. consistently produces unforgettable live events of every type and scale. With over 30 years of experience, OSA utilizes the finest in project management, LED, video equipment and audio systems through our offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville. Our engineering expertise and industry leading technologies combine with client visions to deliver spectacular results every time. From concept to completion, OSA is with you every step of the way. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

About RCS

Reality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the most-watched events events on television. With offices in Los Angeles and London, RCS partners with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks and social media giants to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments. www.realitychecksystems.com

About TrellisWare Technologies

TrellisWare Technologies is a global leader in highly advanced communication algorithms, waveforms, and communication systems that work when nothing else does. TrellisWare provides solutions to communication problems with products that are used in military and commercial settings worldwide. Learn more at www.TrellisWare.com/

Jumper POVs at the 2016 AirFest

Florida Air Show Offers Pilot, Jumper POVs

Tampa Bay, FL — More than 120,000 visitors to Airfest2016—one of the world’s largest air shows—were treated to enhanced video entertainment at this year’s event in March, with large-scale video walls featuring live footage of aerial performances at the event, held at MacDill Air Force Base.

“Compared to typical live-event productions, air shows have historically been slow to adopt new technologies, but this year we wanted to raise the bar and show the community what’s possible,” said John Schwartz, AirFest deputy director, who started planning last year in order to create an entirely new viewing experience for the 2016 show.

Schwartz sought out a production that would show views of in and outside of the aircraft, along with pilot statistics, while elevating creative marketing options for the sponsors that largely funded the free community event. Reality Check Systems, a Los Angeles-based graphics and control packages designer, and technical services provider, OSA Media Solutions–collaborated with Schwartz on the enhanced video entertainment—feeding real-time footage of flying aircraft and cockpit views, interlaced with graphics of pilot bios, aircraft profiles, attendee tweets and sponsorship logos in 1080p to two ABSEN LED video walls measuring 40 feet wide by 20 feet tall. OSA chose the C7 line of ABSEN video walls because of its weather proof design and ability for high light output in sunlight. RCS and OSA designed the graphics to fit the military aesthetic and hashed out a workflow blueprint for the show’s production.

To achieve this, OSA used three Sony HXC-100 broadcast-grade cameras for their main ground shots. One HXC-100 had a 100x Fuji broadcast lens package for long distance shots; a second had a 40x Fuji broadcast lens package and a third mobile HXC was used for interviews. For an extra angle, Schwarz had another Sony HXC-100 fixed to a military vehicle to track aircraft during takeoff.

The most compelling shots of the AirFest production were inside views of the aircraft cockpits. GoPro Hero 4 cameras were fixed inside of a SOCOM C-130 transport, a MIG-17 Russian Fighter, a T-28 Trainer, and the RV-8 Acrobatic Wild Blue Aircraft. A few GoPros were also fixed to several skydiving SOCOM Para commandos as well.

In order to get live video from the airborne aircraft to the production crew, OSA used TW-400 CUB radios and a wireless mesh network to transmit footage to three ground-based receivers. The radios and mesh network were provided by TrellisWare Technologies, a San Diego-based developer of military radio communications technology. Video was transmitted via IP—from distances as high as 13,000 feet—to a decoder in the AirFest control room.

In the control room, a graphics operator interlaced the appropriate graphics to the chosen video feeds, which were output to the video walls via a Ross Carbonite Black switcher. RCS provided the social media software to share live tweets as graphics and pre-recorded sponsor commercials were pulled from a D3 media server.

Since the event, RCS and OSA have fielded several inquiries from bases and commercial air shows looking to employ a similar setup, according to the companies.
Schwartz added, “Though we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of integrating in-cockpit audio/video, real-time aircraft statistics and advertising/sponsorship integration, we’ve set a new standard for production in the airshow industry with successful deployment of this workflow and plan to continue working with RCS and OSA to see how we might apply their expertise in other facets of our operations.”

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"Florida Air Show Offers Pilot, Jumper POVs" by Cameron Vigliano

About OSA

OSA International, Inc. consistently produces unforgettable live events of every type and scale. With over 30 years of experience, OSA utilizes the finest in project management, LED, video equipment and audio systems through our offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville. Our engineering expertise and industry leading technologies combine with client visions to deliver spectacular results every time. From concept to completion, OSA is with you every step of the way. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

About RCS

Reality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the most-watched events events on television. With offices in Los Angeles and London, RCS partners with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks and social media giants to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments. www.realitychecksystems.com

About TrellisWare Technologies

TrellisWare Technologies is a global leader in highly advanced communication algorithms, waveforms, and communication systems that work when nothing else does. TrellisWare provides solutions to communication problems with products that are used in military and commercial settings worldwide. Learn more at www.TrellisWare.com/

AirFest Video Wall

AirFest 2016 Live Production Reaches New Heights With Modern AV Workflow From RCS And OSA

Tampa Bay, FL — 120,000 Tampa Bay residents who assembled at MacDill Air Force Base earlier this year for AirFest 2016, one of the world’s largest air shows, received a front row seat to all the action on the ground and in the sky. For the first time, attendees could view everything from military aircraft displays to aerial performances on large-scale video walls featuring real-time footage interlaced with graphics detailing pilot bios, aircraft profiles, attendee tweets and more. Taking advantage of a graphics and AV workflow developed by Reality Check Systems (RCS) and Media Solutions, a division of OSA International, Inc., AirFest pulled off the largest-scale live production and stream in air show history.

Having begun event preparations last year, AirFest Deputy Director John Schwartz set out to mastermind an entirely new viewing experience for the 2016 show. He envisioned a production that would highlight aircraft and performer statistics and showcase in-cockpit video, while also expanding creative marketing options for sponsors, who largely fund the community event. Given the size of the global air show community, Schwartz also saw an opportunity to use the production to reach a larger audience, opting to extend the workflow to facilitate a live stream of the festivities on the AirFest website, as well as a YouTube recording of the event post-show.

“Compared to typical live-event productions, air shows have historically been slow to adopt new technologies, but this year we wanted to raise the bar and show the community what’s possible,” Schwartz shared. “Having a full-screen video production in place enabled us to entertain attendees with new engaging visuals, and also incorporate sponsor ads in a fun new way, all without degrading the experience.”

Ahead of the event, Schwartz and his team worked closely with RCS and OSA to establish a military aesthetic and refine the end-to-end workflow, hammering out the smallest details down to the graphics font size. RCS’ crew first revamped a previously designed graphics package for the base, adding a new palette and templates including: video boxes for sponsor commercials, right and left slabs for pilot and team IDs and bios, emergency full screens and more.

Once RCS completed the graphics package, OSA and RCS developed workflow blueprints. Giving attendees an intimate view of the action required OSA to attach cameras to flying aircraft and aerial performers, so they turned to technology partner TrellisWare Technologies – a San Diego-based military radio communications technology company who lent its gear to the production.

OSA linked eight GoPro Hero 4 cameras and three Sony HXC-100 broadcast-grade cameras (attached to various airplanes, jumpers and vehicles equipped with transmitters and receivers) to TrellisWare’s TW-400 CUB radios and a wireless mesh network, as well as three receivers on the ground. The setup enabled multiple video feeds from as high as 13,000 feet to be sent out over IP to an on-the-ground decoder in a broadcast-quality control room equipped with RCS’ portable Uppercut HD production solution. A graphics operator controlling the system then interlaced the appropriate graphics and footage, and output desired feeds in 1080p to two 7mm high resolution LED video walls via a Ross Carbonite Black switcher. Social media software developed by RCS also allowed the system operator to also share live tweets as graphics throughout the production. To feed pre-recorded sponsor commercials to the walls, the crew relied on a D3 media server.

Lauding the efforts of RCS and OSA’s teams, Schwartz expressed, “They were professional and knowledgeable, and exhibited an extensive range of capabilities; they were also ready to tackle any challenge we encountered along the way. Their technology and integration into our operation was flawless and far exceeded our expectations.”

Schwartz and his team received an overwhelmingly positive response to the new video walls and content from attendees, sponsors and the larger air show community. By modernizing the show’s workflow, they were able to bring the entire crowd views formerly not visible due to depth and distance. “For the first time ever, audiences could see aircraft ground performances and subsequent maintenance and aircraft taxi operations,” Schwartz explained. “Being able to live stream the festivities and post a recording on YouTube after the event was icing on top of the cake. We were not only able to create a unique fan-centric experience while also promoting the show and Air Force messaging, but also to extend market reach for our advertisers.”

Furthermore, the setup enabled MacDill to safeguard attendees with real-time weather warnings through mass messaging capabilities and a live feed of weather map data, so the crowd could see when a storm was coming and retreat to the hangars. “Though we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of integrating in-cockpit audio/video, real-time aircraft statistics and advertising/sponsorship integration, we’ve set a new standard for production in the airshow industry with successful deployment of this workflow and plan to continue working with RCS and OSA to see how we might apply their expertise in other facets of our operations,” added Schwartz.

Since AirFest 2016, RCS and OSA have fielded several inquiries from bases and commercial air shows interested in coordinating similar caliber productions for upcoming events.

Article Source

"AirFest 2016 Live Production Reaches New Heights With Modern AV Workflow From RCS And OSA" by Live Design

About OSA

OSA International, Inc. consistently produces unforgettable live events of every type and scale. With over 30 years of experience, OSA utilizes the finest in project management, LED, video equipment and audio systems through our offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville. Our engineering expertise and industry leading technologies combine with client visions to deliver spectacular results every time. From concept to completion, OSA is with you every step of the way. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

About RCS

Reality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the most-watched events events on television. With offices in Los Angeles and London, RCS partners with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks and social media giants to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments. www.realitychecksystems.com

About TrellisWare Technologies

TrellisWare Technologies is a global leader in highly advanced communication algorithms, waveforms, and communication systems that work when nothing else does. TrellisWare provides solutions to communication problems with products that are used in military and commercial settings worldwide. Learn more at www.TrellisWare.com/

Angel Banchs' Photo

Vice President of Engineering Angel Banchs Joins the OSA International, Inc. Team

OSA International Continues to Grow Live Events Team With Industry’s Top Talent

Las Vegas, Chicago and NashvilleOSA International, Inc., one of the industry’s leading audio visual solutions providers for live events and entertainment, continues to build its live events team in 2015 with several new specialized team members, including Vice President of Engineering Angel Banchs who is well-known and respected in the industry.

"Over the past four years, when OSA purchased Media Solutions in 2011, our video and multimedia projects have significantly grown in both volume and innovative capabilities," states OSA International’s CEO & Founder Mario Educate. "As a result, we’ve brought on some of the best video talent for live events and entertainment as well as increased our inventory with the latest technology and LED to ensure we create an environment that brings our clients’ visions to reality."

A recent addition to the team, Banchs brings an impressive technical background as a video engineer, design engineer, technical director, and audio engineer. He is also an equipment designer and manufacturer and has designed custom parts and assemblies for rock tours, television studios, motion pictures and other events.

Most recently, Banchs was a freelance video engineer for 15 years and during that time worked on a variety of large-scale events for OSA. His primary focus is on large format video systems for broadcast and corporate events, and he is certified on Barco Encore, FSN, Encore 2 and Vista Spyder systems.

"I am excited to be on the OSA team," says Banchs. "I had the opportunity to work with OSA over the years and have always been impressed with the team’s drive and positive attitude they bring to the table on a daily basis. It’s important to me to work with professionals who keep cool under pressure and maintain their professionalism to ensure the client’s expectations are met and exceeded."

"We maintain our reputation of delivering the highest-quality service and solutions by employing top industry talent, such as Angel, who have the same client-centric mindset and drive to continually enhance the client and audience experience," says Educate.

Currently, Banchs is touring with the OSA Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) team to support the epic arena, designed by Production Designer Bruce Rodgers, owner of Tribe Design, which includes an 180,000-pound structure suspended above the ring and encased in nearly 2,000 LED tiles owned by OSA. The arena itself is also surrounded by numerous curved LED displays showing a variety of content to set the stage. To successfully accomplish a rigorous and detail-oriented project such as the PBC tour, it’s critical to have the right team in place to make the event come to life.

Learn more about OSA International, Inc. at www.OSAcorp.com.

About OSA International, Inc.

OSA International, Inc. is your audio visual solutions partner for live events and entertainment since 1985. Our reputation is unmatched in the industry for providing the ultimate client and audience experience. We offer a complete suite for a variety of events, including state-of-the-art sound reinforcement, engineering, multimedia and video displays, along with comprehensive technical direction and production services. Every client receives the highest quality of service, technology, and more importantly the best talent in the industry to take your vision to reality. We are a national leader in custom live event technology for auto shows, large-scale meetings and events, festivals and concerts, exhibits and tradeshows, and some of the largest sporting events in the world. OSA International, Inc. is the parent company of Integrated Solutions and M.T. Custom Cases, offering our clients an array of services and products within the audio visual industry. OSA has offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Nashville. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.

Steely Dan Tour 2015

OSA Expands Nation’s Largest Martin Audio MLA Inventory

OSA International, Inc. of Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville recently purchased additional MLA enclosures to increase what is already the nation’s largest inventory of Martin Audio’s award-winning loudspeaker line.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary of top-quality live production work for tours, corporate shows, product launches, TV broadcasts and special events, OSA just added 26 MLA and 18 MLA Compact enclosures to its already full line inventory.

Because of MLA’s consistent front to back audience coverage, exceptional clarity and noise overspill control, OSA has recently used the system for two Steely Dan national tours, the Firefly Music Festival, IFC Stage at SXSW, NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions, The Pavilion at Ravinia, the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala and Concert, The Broadway League featuring Gloria Estefan and a variety of other corporate and special events.

Commenting on the recent purchase, OSA Vice President Jim Risgin said, “Martin Audio’s MLA continues to be a runaway success, making us busier than ever in our 30th Anniversary year. We continue to add inventory to service our locations and other MLA partners as demand for these boxes continues to increase, which is a testament to Martin Audio’s breakthrough technology and engineering team that keeps the system one step ahead.

“We’ve seen other box manufacturers say they offer optimization and steering, but there’s still nothing on the market that comes close to the feature set of MLA, nor delivers it as successfully and consistently as MLA. Martin Audio continues to improve with every update, using its years of real life experience. Once our customers try MLA, they don’t want to use anything else and that’s a big reason why we continue to be successful.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®

Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

About OSA International, Inc.

OSA International, Inc. is your audiovisual solutions partner for live events and entertainment since 1985. Our reputation is unmatched in the industry for providing the ultimate client and audience experience. We offer a complete suite for a variety of events, including state-of-the-art sound reinforcement, engineering, multimedia and video displays, along with comprehensive technical direction and production services. Learn more about us at www.OSAcorp.com.